The Corner

Global warming, 1948 style

A scientist friend discovered an article from 1948 entitled “The Present Climatic Fluctuation.” Written by Professor Hans Ahlmann of the University of Stockholm, it begins:

The present climatic fluctuation has been discussed since the 1920′s almost exclusively in scientific circles, although it has recently become a subject of more than academic interest…Ordinary people are beginning to realize that something has happened and is happening which is of great interest to themselves. The last dry summer, which transformed large parts of Western Europe into a virtual steppe, increased this interest and also caused anxiety, though this drought cannot be said with any certainty to belong to the present climatic fluctuation.

Sound familiar? All that is missing is adocumentary by Thomas E Dewey on the subject. Anyway, Ahlmann documents rapidly rising temperatures, glaciers melting like crazy, atmospheric circulation changes, species shifting, sea level rise, and so on from all around the world. But he concludes:

If we find in the Antarctic similar evidence of the present climatic fluctuation as has been found in other parts of the world, we shall be justified in concluding that the present fluctuation is a world-wode phenomenon and probably the result of variations in solar activity which, slow as they may be to take effect, are actually resulting in an improvement in the climate of our world.

How times change!

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